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Hormonal Birth Control

I was on it for 9 years and I went on it to prevent unwanted pregnancies, and for that I am grateful, however, it messed up my body pretty dang good.

I think hormonal birth control (HBC) has benefits, like preventing pregnancy and assisting with SOME hormonal issues (we will get into that more), but you begin to wonder why the woman who is fertile approximately 6 days a month has to change her entire biochemistry, when the man can get a woman pregnant every dang day. It's one of those things that you don't think about because that is how society is, and that is how you grow up thinking. (I also grew up thinking a woman could get pregnant every day of the month...)

I started to really notice the effects of HBC on my body in college but I didn't realize that it was because of HBC until many, many years later. My mood went funky, my libido plummeted, my constipation started up and my gut microbiome was ruined. I was never really "depressed", or at least I don't think I was, but I definitely felt depressed at times. It's hard to depict and decipher everything when you're that age. Is it the booze, the all nighters, the stress, the lack of exercise, the shitty food, the ups and downs of relationships, etc. I never suspected the hormonal birth control that my doctor prescribed for me.

It wasn't until I got to California and had my first Holistic Gynecologist who recommended I come off of HBC at age 30. To that I answered, "why 30?". She began to tell me that some women have difficulty regulating their cycles, may have underlying hormonal issues that need to be addressed prior to trying to conceive, and a few other reasons. This discussion got the wheels in my head turning. She also acknowledged the fact that my mood and libido were off and were correlated to taking HBC. That moment I decided to come off of it and I just came off cold turkey (not recommended), there are many ways to support your body prior to and during weaning.

Think about it this way. HBC basically shuts off the connection from your brain to your ovaries and gives you a steady flow of either SYNTHETIC estrogen or progesterone or a combo. That means, no ovulation, no build up of the uterine lining, less vaginal lubrication, just a constant flow of fake hormones.

If you know anything about a woman's cycle, you'll understand the beauty of it. It's cyclical, it flows, your hormones rise and fall, your body does this crazy thing called ovulation and then can possibly conceive another human. It's magical to say the least. Being on HBC is like a dull buzz. I remember just being more dull, numb-ish. I'm sure that not everyone has this experience, but I've talked to A LOT of women, and many are feeling the same way.

I learned about my cycle really for the first time after coming off HBC and having a ton of hormonal issues. I learned how to track it, how to check for cervical mucus to know if I ovulated, to check my basal body temperature, etc. I learned that there's a reason for my energy to go up and down, my mood to sway, my appetite to shift, my feminine side to come out or want to hide. There are so many amazing things to the cycle of a woman, and many of us dull the shit out of that when taking HBC.

Before I used to just wait for a synthetic withdrawal bleed. Now I track my cycle and know what phase I am in, what foods I should be eating, how I should be exercising, when I should let my body rest, and understand my mood, so much more. I actually feel again. When I eat like shit for a week or am stressed out, my body will tell me because my period will be 5 days or so early, and my cramps will be a raging bitch. The cool thing is that I've learned how to manage these things naturally, without HBC. I found alternative, natural solutions to helping with PMS and managing cramps.

HBC is also used to manage symptoms such as cramping, PMS, missing periods and, irregular periods. The thing is, the moment this medication is stopped, those symptoms come right back. WHY? because they are "managing symptoms", they are not curing or healing anything. It prolongs the inevitable: HORMONAL IMBALANCES. To some degree, if you have symptoms like the aforementioned, you have hormonal imbalances. You may have low progesterone, high estrogen, high testosterone, or other combinations of hormone dysfunction. There is often a rebound effect when you come off HBC as well. Post-birth control syndrome is a REAL thing. Young women get put on HBC to "regulate their cycle", but the truth is, you don't have anywhere close to a "normal" cycle, and you don't even have a true period. It's simply a withdrawal bleed from the medication, look it up!

So my take away is, do your research, advocate for your health, there are other solutions, but sometimes it takes a lot of hard work. If HBC is right for you, great, you may be on a different journey in life and for that, I wish you luck. I am just sharing my experiences and it is something I will never go back on, and regret to have been on in the first place. It all boils down to LACK OF EDUCATION. We are not taught. Our parents weren't taught. It is now coming to light more and more. Hopefully this next generation will have some more insight and informed consent.


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